Head Lice Solutions
There are a number of strong chemical products on the market. Some parents are unsure of the idea of strong chemicals in such close contact with their child's skin, others find it reassuring for the very same reason - if there's chemicals involved, they must be doing a thorough job.
Also available are natural products based on essential oils and pyrethrin, which smell not as strong as the chemical-based products. Because these products aren't as strong as the chemical-based ones, they usually need to be left in the hair longer to take effect.
Conditioner and comb technique
The conditioner and comb technique is a very effective way of detecting and treating head lice however you will need to continue treatment every day for about ten days to ensure you remove all the lice from your child's hair. The conditioner works by stunning the lice for a few minutes so they still enough to be combed out. If you want to give this technique a go follow the steps outlined below:
1. Untangle your child's hair with an ordinary comb.
2. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to your child's hair covering the entire scalp from roots to tips. You can use any conditioner, however, a white product will make it easier to see the nits.
3. Use your ordinary comb to distribute the conditioner evenly through your child's hair and divide the hair in to four or more sections using hair ties.
4. Change to a head lice comb.
5. Pick up a section of hair near the back of your child's head. Place the teeth of the comb against your child's scalp and comb the hair from the roots through to the tips.
6. Use a tissue to wipe the teeth of the comb clean after each brush stroke and check for head lice and eggs.
7. Comb each section of your child's hair at least twice until you have done the whole head. If your comb becomes clogged up use an old toothbrush to clear the teeth.
8. Keep combing until all the conditioner has gone.
9. Repeat the conditioning and combing daily until you find no head lice for ten consecutive days. It is important to continue for ten days to make sure you remove all the adult lice as well as any lice that hatch, before they get a chance to reproduce.
Using hair spray/ hair gel
During an infestation of nits, spray your child's hair with hairspray, or comb through hair gel to make it more difficult for the lice to attach to their hair shafts.
Head lice removal tips:
• Apply the treatment to dry hair and then WRAP IT UP. Use a shower cap, a plastic bag or glad wrap - whatever works - because the minute the treated hair starts to dry, the treatment ceases to work.
• Be generous with the treatment. Make sure that every part of the scalp and hair is covered with the treatment.
• Leave it in for the recommended time. Most treatments recommend leaving in for 10-20 minutes and if you're using strong chemicals you should use as recommended, if you are using essential oils you can leave it in for a little longer.
• Don't rush the combing. Doing the shampoo treatment is only half the job.
• Don't try to remove every egg because you'll only stress yourself. If you follow treatment with repeat treatments every 3-4 days for two weeks, you'll catch the eggs as they hatch.
• You could use the conditioner and combing technique between treatments to help remove the lice.
Preventing head lice
It's important to remember that head lice are irritating but ultimately harmless. By encouraging your child to follow some of the ideas listed below you may reduce the likelihood of your little one catching head lice:
• Avoid sharing hair brushes, combs, hats and fancy dress wigs
• Avoid direct head-to-head contact
• Discourage your child from playing with other people's hair
• Keep long hair tied up or plaited
• Checking your child's hair on a weekly basis
Remember that these suggestions should not get in the way of ensuring your child is able to have fun in child care!